WAGAHAI-WA-NEKO-DEARU...english title, I AM A CAT(1905-1906) is a satire on Japanese society in the time of the Meiji Emperor. Written by SOUSEKI NATSUME(1869-1916).
A clever CAT(no name, introduce oneself WAGAHAI) watching and comments human world. Meets unique peoples. teacher Chinno Kushami(珍野苦沙弥) and family (the CAT's owners), garrulous and irritating friend Meitei(迷亭), and chinno's friends "taihei-no-itsumin(carefree peoples of peaceful world 太平の逸民)", enemy new rich person kaneda(金田)family and more.
Among its major themes are the period's uneasy mix of new Western ideas and Japanese traditions, and the aping of Western customs. The novel is striking for its modernity.
But...I AM A CAT is great humor novel, include many gags. SOUSEKI inspired rakugo(comic story)talking style.
Character chinno is other self SOUSEKI NATSUME. He is cat owner real life(this cat model of the novel).
The book first appeared as a set of 10 installments(11 chapters) in the literary journal "Hototogisu".
SOUSEKI had originally only intended to write the short story that forms the first chapter of I AM A CAT. He was persuaded to contribute further installments by TAKAHAMA KYOSHI(1874-1959), one of the editors of "Hototogisu".
The episodic nature in which it was written may account for the stylistic incongruities between the earlier and later chapters.
This website, We tried segmentation I AM A CAT over 700 chapters. And addition many illustrations after first published during century(include 2 movies photograph, 1936 and 1975). Think so easy to understand.
Let's trying and reading I AM A CAT world, longest but it's happy trip!
CHAP.1:"I AM A CAT, as yet i have no name". Very famous beginning. This stray cat introduce oneself WAGAHAI.
settle in teacher CHINNO KUSHAMI's house. WAGAHAI is clever, watching and comments human world all time! Main episode, about visiter CHINNO's unique friend esthetician(MEITEI) and WAGAHAI meets KURO THE BOSS CAT.
CHAP.2:This novel "I AM A CAT" is success in japan. opening, WAGAHAI is proud. Crossing fiction and real.
New year 1905(meiji 38), unique visiter in CHINNO's house salon...TOUFUU, KANGETSU, MEITEI! WAGAHAI called them "taihei-no-itsumin". Include strange talks and many gags.
One day, WAGAHAI knows girlfriend MIKEKO dead...
CHAP.3:After MIKEKO dead, WAGAHAI living weary days.
One day, Mrs. KANEDA(KANEDA "big nose lady" HANAKO) visited CHINNO's house for a marriage proposal daughter TOMIKO and KANGETSU. But CHINNO and MEITEI make fun of saucy HANAKO's nose.
Rebirth WAGAHAI steal KANEDA(a new rich person)'s biggest house, and knows KANEDA family under contemplation bullying teacher CHINNO.
CHAP.4:CHINNO said, "haughty KANEDA's daughter is no good for pupal scientist KANGETSU".
Mr.KANEDA dispatched follower SUZUKI TOUJUROU(CHINNO and MEITEI's old friend), for rethinking CHINNO's mind...but this persuade plan miss by visiter MEITEI.
Mr. KANEDA keep up bullying to CHINNO.
CHAP.5:One night, a thief invation CHINNO's house. WAGAHAI find, but deep sleeping CHINNO family not find.
Next day, TATARA SANPEI visited. He is student in CHINNO's house former days, Now SUZUKI TOUJUUROU's stuff. WAGAHAI astnished...TATARA eat cat!
Another day night, WAGAHAI first playing mouse hunt. This sequence parody of the Russo-Japanese War.
CHAP.6:Hottest summer day, WAGAHAI is exhauseted...and hope take off fur. This chapter is CHINNO's house salon sketch(CHINNO and his wife, visitor MEITEI, KANGETSU, TOUFUU...and WAGAHAI).
Include strange and interesting talks.
CHAP.7:WAGAHAI trying sports(walking fence top, go up pine tree etc.) and consideration about clothes fashion.
Highlight, WAGAHAI steal public bath sequence.
CHAP.8:WAGAHAI talk about teacher CHINNO vs. RAKUUNKAN MIDDLE SCHOOL students. This battle so-called "baseball wars"! Pull strings back, agitater Mr. KANEDA.
CHINNO worried, consult doctor AMAKI...but no good. One day, visiter philosopher DOKUSEN adviced for CHINNO.
CHAP.9:Seven days later. CHINNO is relax by DOKUSEN advice. But visiter MEITEI said, DOKUSEN influence go mad 2 men! CHINNO is shocked. After thought CHINNO don't know what's what...
Another episode, thief is caught(but CHINNO don't distinguish thief or policeman) and MEITEI's uncle visited(he is old fashion, "mage=topknot" hair style).
CHAP.10:Opening, CHINNO family morning sketch(cleaning, breakfast etc...daughter, 3 sisters so funny!).
Today visiter, a young girl YUKIE. She is CHINNO's niece. And CHINNO teaching school student FURUI "big head" BUEMON. He is in trouble by joke love letter for KANEDA TOMIKO...worry, consultation to CHINNO for support. But CHINNO worry too!
CHAP.11:Late autumn, CHINNO's house salon sketch. visiter, "taihei-no-itsumin" MEITEI, DOKUSEN, KANGETSU, TOUFUU and TATARA SANPEI.
Highlight, longest talk about violin buy and play story by KANGETSU and infome marriage KANGETSU and TATARA(his partner is KANEDA TOMIKO!).
Drink a toast beer for bless. After dinner, WAGAHAI drinking remains beer...get drunk! WAGAHAI falling and splash water jar. not saved...
WAGAHAI go die. and said famous monologue.
"I am dying. Through death I am drifting slowly into peace. Only by dying can this divine quiescence be attained. May one rest in peace! I am thanksful, I am thanksful. Thanksful, thanksful...(南無阿弥陀仏南無阿弥陀仏。ありがたいありがたい・・・。)"